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Weeble? Buffy - "Lies My Parents Told Me"




Stuff:

Anya's hat! Quick, someone get that thing off her head. Can't you see it's eating her brain? And a subdued heh on the subject of "Forgiveness is human, blah blah blah" -- though having it be fratboys that she refers to Spike killing was a bit stagey, for a joke with that sort of too little too late punchline.

William's hair: bad, bad, bad. Actually, if I try to look at him as post-turning Spike? It's kind of hot. But as William? Please shoot the wig dept. Plus his hair is somehow darker now?

Also, his voice is lower, he's less nervous, and he has stubble. William? Would never have stubble. It's hot, I just... Oh, I said that already. I can actually buy that he would be less nervous and sissified around his mother, than out in public -- but it still came off as too much Spike.

Nice to see Dru back being Dru. I can't really say whether she's more "real Dru" than the First was, whether Juliet Landau was off form as First!Dru or it was done on purpose. All I can say is that I liked Dru as seen here. And how hot was baby!Spike getting it on with Dru in his mum's parlor? Wibble.

Spike's mum is great (oh, and Cecily finally has a last name: Underwood. Pah; I was holding out for Fairfax) and I think the storyline and what Spike needed to learn from it worked out for me exactly as it was supposed to. Ricean friends are undoubtedly going to have things to say about the Vampire Lestat parallels; I've read the book, but not in obssessive fannish detail -- my opinion is that of girl on the street, I guess. I see the lift/parallel, but I think it was used to its own purposes here: Stat *did* want to spend forever as his mummy's lover, I think, and she didn't mind the idea, at least for a while. Spike's mum didn't want him around once she changed -- either that, or the part of her that was still *her* pushed him to kill her and free her from what he'd turned her into. Either way, the lesson is different from Lestat's, and supports the conclusion Spike comes to -- that his mother did love him more than anything else. and that a Slayer never will.

I was intrigued by his answer for Wood -- that the Slayer is all about the Mission, and, esentially, Nikki knew what she was getting into, and she's the one who left him an orphan. But here's where we get into my need for a "confuzzled" mood (Yeah, they have it at Journalfen, but I want it heeeeeeere).

So:

Wood had his reasons, which were about as straightforward as possible. Giles' reasons, though (if we're to believe this is Giles and we're not still being played for some sort of "Look, he's not touching anything -- psych!" fool) are allegedly all about... the Mission. Even though I've not been happy with Giles-if-he's-really-Giles so far this season, I can buy his Be a General speech. I can accept that his motivations are pure simply because Giles doesn't have any other potential motivations to want to hurt Spike. So, Spike has to be taken out, for their safety, to save the world.

Buffy? She says she'd let Dawn die, if she had it to do over again. This show hasn't shown me any kind of change in Buffy's worldview that supports such a statement, since the end of Season 5, but, um, ok. The fanwankiest I can get on that subject is that now she knows there's a heaven, so dying isn't the be-all-end-all for humans. Let's go with it, though. Let's say Buffy would let Dawn die. Let's say she understands about being a General. Let's say she's legitimately mad at Wood not because he tried to kill someone she has disturbingly complex feelings for, but simply because they need Spike, and Wood was letting his vendetta be more important than... the Mission.

In that case, why is Buffy mad at Giles? So quietly, bitterly mad at Giles.

Best guesses -- a) he's right in spirit, though wrong in tactics, and she hates him for his part in turning her into someone who could be All About the Mission. b) he's right in spirit, but he undercut her; he didn't let her make the tactical decisions. I could see that as a legit reason to be angry with him, but that doesn't really seem to fit with "I think I've learned everything I need to from you." She's bitter there. c) he's wrong in spirit -- because Buffy has some internal definition of the Mission that we haven't seen her hash out, that basically says "We kill potentially good people only as a last resort, and this isn't one and you should've known that." d) ? Buffy's a hypocrite, as are they all, which we all knew?

Overall, me likee. I'm just confuzzled as to what I was supposed to take away, regarding Buffy's position at the end of the episode, and Giles'.


I took Buffy's reaction as...

robintcj

2003-03-25 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bitter anger at being undercut. She knows they need Spike, and Giles should know they need Spike, but she feels Giles let his personal feelings get in the way of how he dealt with Spike. Giles hates Spike, and always has. Granted, her feelings for Spike aren't completely objective, but she IS the leader in this instance. That Giles went behind her back angered her.

I loved the moment. But I wonder if it wasn't a little too "Helpless". Unless that's another "back to the beginning" thing. Where Buffy has to go through those trust issues again.

Or, it was all because of pink bunnies.

And let's please kill Anya's hat soon. *sob*

Re: I took Buffy's reaction as...

mpoetess

2003-03-25 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

she feels Giles let his personal feelings get in the way of how he dealt with Spike. Giles hates Spike, and always has.

See, insert "Xander" for "Giles" and I'd agree with you. But when has Giles ever hated Spike? He's been firm and Rippery with him on one occasion (just after Crush, when they were all laying the smackdown on Spike) but other than that, he's been at worst annoyed or disappointed in Spike. Witness his attempts to talk to Spike in "A New Man" about the chip having a greater purpose, or his lingering feeling of disappointment in Spike when they've all lost their memories in "Tabula Rasa." Giles doesn't have a vendetta against Spike. Tell me Xander does, for what Spike did to Buffy, and I'm with you -- but I think Giles is (if he's really Giles) working completely frrom his thought that it's best for all concerned. And if Buffy is, as she said to Wood, *also* worried about what's best for all concerned, then she might be mad at Giles for not trusting her to know what's best, but it doesn't seem to add up to that utter cold disapproval that she gave him at the end of the ep.

If Giles thought he was doing what was best

robintcj

2003-03-25 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

He'd have enough reasons to try and convince Buffy. He didn't even try. It was sneaky and underhanded. Maybe I shouldn't say Giles HATES Spike. But we know he doesn't like Spike. Dislikes him, in fact.

And if Buffy is, as she said to Wood, *also* worried about what's best for all concerned, then she might be mad at Giles for not trusting her to know what's best, but it doesn't seem to add up to that utter cold disapproval that she gave him at the end of the ep.


It does add up to it though. Because Giles didn't trust her, and that made her angry, and Giles went behind her back, and that made her angry. Buffy doesn't like to not be told things. When Giles did something very important without telling her, she was bitter and angry. She feels that she has to know everything while she's fighting the First, and she's right. She shouldn't have to deal with surprises, and that's what Giles did to her. He knew she'd be angry with him for killing (letting Wood do it) Spike without telling her, and he tried to make her understand, but she was still to angry to listen. Hopefully she'll listen to reason, because I love their relationship.

But yes, PodGiles is annoying me. This was the most Giles like he's been, though.

(Deleted comment)

Here's what I take out of it

nematoddity

2003-03-26 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)

The way I lifted the anvil of disbelief on this one goes back a bit, to when Angel kidnapped Giles and tortured him. Dru and Spike were in on it. Maybe not as intensely, not as brutally, as Angel, but they were there. At that point, being a gang of vampires, who's to say who did what, and how often, and how badly? He hated Angel for a long time, may resent him still; how much of that is transference from also hating Spike? How much of agreeing with Wood was remembering Angel was not acting alone in the torture room?

I don't know what's wrong with a lot of the actors...

nematoddity

2003-03-26 12:27 am (UTC) (Link)

...on both shows. Maybe they're all getting tired. Maybe it's a good thing Buffy's ending, and characters can cycle off and on Angel, and maybe found a whole new thing, if the stars are right. But I'm finally getting fed up enough to think, yeah, Buffy goes bye-bye, fine.

But yes, PodGiles is annoying me. This was the most Giles like he's been, though.

Buffy becomes angry and resentful any time Giles touches on the behavior he exhibited when he drugged her ('Eighteen'? Was that the episode?). It all goes back to feeling powerless for her, and when she feels powerless, she gets scared. In this same light, I can see her throwing Dawn away, to the extent that she's becoming willing to sacrifice everyone, even her own life again (and maybe, especially her own life) if it stops the First. She must have some idea now of what the multi-eyed thing meant, with the little windy prophecy gig; that we haven't seen it only means, to me, that she's been dwelling.

As every fan should know by now, when Buffy obsesses, watch out. And in this case, she may be obsessing over the fact that she didn't, in any sense, come back 'right'. She's a disturbance to the natural order. She's allowing the First to manifest and grow strong. So, what's her best option? Train her troops, direct her troops, keep going, keep focused, and don't think about anything else. What happened when Wood took Spike away and Giles delayed her? At first, it was betrayal all over again, and then she got irritated because someone's making her think outside her little channel and She Can't Have That Right Now.

Witness how she deals with Spike: not 'I love you', not even 'I care for you', just 'You can't leave yet, I'm not ready for you to go.' She cannot think past the direct moment of confrontation, because if she does, she'll stagger and fall. And then the world ends.

So I get the bitterness aimed at Giles in this one. They've been there before and she hated it the last time. Now, it's even worse, because it's a betrayal that's distracting.

And yeah, someone put Anya's hat out of her misery. Or, at least, make sure she never wears it again with that shirt!

I agree with you.

robintcj

2003-03-26 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Buffy's obsessive tendencies point in all the directions you're sending us. So that makes sense. And the episode was "Helpless", and that's what I was so eloquently failing to say...that Giles touched on that behaviour, and it reminded Buffy of the pain she went through 4 years ago, and that's what made her bitter and resentful.

And nevermind not letting Anya wear it with that shirt. She should never wear it again. Kill it! Kill it!

It sent my girl Nikki into convulsions, it was so ugly.

Re: If Giles thought he was doing what was best

mpoetess

2003-03-26 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)

He'd have enough reasons to try and convince Buffy. He didn't even try. It was sneaky and underhanded. Maybe I shouldn't say Giles HATES Spike. But we know he doesn't like Spike. Dislikes him, in fact.


Right -- but that pretty much adds up to "Giles doesn't trust Spike" from where I sit. Not Giles having any petty reason whatsoever to want to hurt him.

But, it also means Giles doesn't trust *Buffy* -- which may be why she's so mad at him. Not that he disagreed with her, or that he did something for the same reasons she says she's acting under -- but because he didn't trust her judgement. Which at this point means she *has* learned everything she can from him as a Watcher -- and one of those lessons is that you can't always trust your friends to support you when they don't think you're right.

(Course I'm also holding out for "not really Giles" but my holdout status gets depressingly more tenuous every ep.)